A computational paradigm for multiresolution topology optimization (MTOP)

Tam H. Nguyen, Glaucio H. Paulino, Junho Song, Chau H. Le

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

175 Scopus citations


This paper presents a multiresolution topology optimization (MTOP) scheme to obtain high resolution designs with relatively low computational cost. We employ three distinct discretization levels for the topology optimization procedure: the displacement mesh (or finite element mesh) to perform the analysis, the design variable mesh to perform the optimization, and the density mesh (or density element mesh) to represent material distribution and compute the stiffness matrices. We employ a coarser discretization for finite elements and finer discretization for both density elements and design variables. A projection scheme is employed to compute the element densities from design variables and control the length scale of the material density. We demonstrate via various two- and three-dimensional numerical examples that the resolution of the design can be significantly improved without refining the finite element mesh.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)525-539
Number of pages15
JournalStructural and Multidisciplinary Optimization
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Control and Optimization


  • Density mesh
  • Design variable
  • Finite element mesh
  • Multiresolution
  • Projection scheme
  • Topology optimization


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